Wimbledon is just around the corner, more people are either dusting off their Tennis racquets or preparing to spend a few hours watching it. We often see an increase in Elbow injuries during this time. The most common that we see is Tennis Elbow.
What is Tennis Elbow?
Unlike the name suggests, Tennis Elbow is not always related to tennis. It is normally caused by some kind of overuse, such as using a mouse and typing, using tools or hitting a ball with a racquet. As the elbow joint is such a bony part of the body it doesn’t have much capacity to absorb shock. Any force and repetitive movements are felt directly at the joint rather than in any big muscle and soft tissues.
The elbow muscles are long and thin and are mainly made up of tendons. Tendons have difficult jobs to do, they are attached to the soft muscle at one end and then the bony part at the other end. A lot of the force is transferred from muscle to tendon in order to move the bone. Not an easy task.
They can cope really well with this task in moderation but too much may eventually overload the tendons and they will start to complain by giving you pain. This sets off the inflammatory response causing more pain and discomfort. There is very little risk of long term tendon damage but it does limit your activities effecting your quality of life and possibly your ability to work.
How do we treat Tennis Elbow?
Do not despair, treatment can help calm those panicking muscles and tendons and get them strong enough to cope better with the task you have set them. At Richmond Osteopaths we use a combination of treatments such as dry needling, massage and strengthening exercises to name just a few. We encourage you to play tennis and keep you at work pain free and strong.
Did you know?
The Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) mission is to get more people playing tennis more often, and part of its role is to govern tennis in Great Britain. If you’ve ever wanted to play tennis but been put off because it’s too dark, or too wet or you can’t book a court, help – it seems – is at hand (www.lta.org.uk/about-the-lta)